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ARKIB : 16/01/2002

No action against negligent soldiers in Sauk incident

KANGAR Jan 15 - Military personnel who were found negligent during the firearms robbery by a group of Al-Ma'unah members at two army camps in Perak in July 2000 will not be charged in military or civil court, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"They are not charged because the negligence was caused by trickery and not a deliberate act," he said at a press conference after meeting with ex-servicemen, here.

Responding to questions from the press, he said disciplinary action had already been taken against them including discharge from service following an internal inquiry.

Najib, however, did not disclose the number of personnel on whom disciplinary action had been taken.

In the July 3 incident, a group of the Al-Ma'unah members had robbed an army camp at KM 19, Kuala Rhui, East-West Highway, Gerik and the Battalion 304 Infantry (TA), Gerik Camp.

They later fled to Bukit Jenalik, Sauk, and surrendered three days later after killing two members of the security forces who had been taken as hostages earlier.

On Aug 10, 2000, 29 members of the group were charged under Section 121 of the Penal Code for waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the first such case in the country's legal history.

The High Court on Dec 7, 2000 and Jan 18, 2001 sentenced 10 members of the group to 10 years jail each after pleading guilty to an alternative charge under Section 122 for preparing to wage war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

The trial of the other 19 members of the group including their leader Mohd Amin Mohd Razali, under Section 121 of the Penal Code, lasted 128 days.

In December last year, the High Court found all of them guilty with Mohd Amin and two other key leaders of the group being sentenced to death while the rest were sentenced to life imprisonment.

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